Monday, 14 March 2011

Stock

We had a trip to King's Lynn yesterday, to visit my mother.  As usual, mum's garden was full of birds, all helping themselves to her feeders and bird-table full of grain and bread.  Among the most common birds seen yesterday were Stock Doves (Columba oenas).
Smaller and neater than the Wood Pigeons which were also to be seen, Stock Doves also lack the Wood Pigeon's white flashes on the neck.  When the light catches the plumage of Stock Doves, the iridescence shows well, especially with the metallic green 'smudge' on the neck.
The name 'Stock' is thought to come from the Old English word Stocc, meaning tree-stump, log or post.  This is surely a reference to this bird's habit of nesting in holes in trees, unlike most of our native doves and pigeons.  This wood would then be taken by people as 'stock' firewood.
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